The Conceptualization problem in research and responses to sexual and gender-based violence in forced migration

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Ozcurumez S., Akyüz Tursun S., Bradby H.

JOURNAL OF GENDER STUDIES, vol.30, no.1, pp.66-78, 2021 (SSCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 30 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Doi Number: 10.1080/09589236.2020.1730163
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, International Bibliography of Social Sciences, Periodicals Index Online, Educational research abstracts (ERA), Gender Studies Database, Index Islamicus, MLA - Modern Language Association Database, Political Science Complete, Psycinfo, Social services abstracts, Sociological abstracts, Worldwide Political Science Abstracts
  • Page Numbers: pp.66-78
  • Keywords: SGBV, forced migration, refugees, DOMESTIC VIOLENCE, WAR, MASCULINITIES, REFUGEES
  • TED University Affiliated: No


The conceptualization of sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) has developed rapidly over recent decades and the understanding of SGBV in the context of forced migration continues to evolve. Based on a scoping review of scholarly work and reports by non-governmental organizations and international organizations between 1993 and 2018, this study identifies limitations to the current conceptualization of SGBV, and proposes a re-conceptualization. The paper argues that the existing literature overemphasizes the contexts of war zones and conflict and excludes post-flight settings, and focuses mainly on the victimization of women, excluding other at-risk groups. The tendency to focus on conflict zones and to underline the victim status of women constrains the usefulness of the conceptualization for informing research as well as protection and response. This review considers the multifaceted causes and consequences of gendered vulnerabilities and insecurities that are exposed in forced migration processes in order to make sense of SGBV as a gendered harm. Through a constructivist and de-essentialising theoretical lens, the study proposes to conceptualize SGBV in terms of continuities in forced migration occuring over time in interwoven territories and a variety of contexts from countries of origin to settlement.